Truck Tonnage Increases 6.3% in March

by: Mark J. Perry
Last week, the American Trucking Association announced that its Truck Tonnage Index increased in March by 6.3% compared to the same month last year, and at annual rate of 6.1% in the first quarter of 2011 versus last year. For the month of March, the Truck Tonnage Index was the highest on record.

ATA Chief Economist and Vice President Bob Costello said “Despite my concern that higher energy costs are going to begin cutting into consumer spending, tonnage levels were pretty good in March and the first quarter of the year." Looking ahead, Costello said, “While I still think the industry will continue to grow and recover from the weak freight environment we've seen in recent years, the rapid spike in fuel prices will slow that growth.” Costello also noted that as long as U.S. manufacturing activity remains strong, truck tonnage will benefit.